Bound for Washington: Valley speller headed to Scripps National Spelling Bee

LOS FRESNOS — Clarisse Tudon has a matter-of-fact attitude about being the Rio GrandeValley’s representative to the 98th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee and what it would take to win.

“I just study and will try to do my best,” the LosCuatesMiddle School student said Wednesday during a break from ninth-grade orientation at Los Fresnos United, where she will be a freshman next year. “I don’t really believe in luck.”

Clarisse won the championship at the Rio Grande Valley Spelling Bee in March to qualify for the national bee. She correctly spelled the word “sanguinary” during the 13th round for the championship.

On Sunday, she and her family will depart for the Washington, D.C., suburb of National Harbor, Maryland, where the national showdown takes place. The preliminaries are Tuesday and Wednesday, and the finals all day Thursday. The preliminaries will be covered again this year by ESPN3, and the finals will start on ESPN2 and switch to ESPN at night. Clarisse is one of 285 spellers who will compete for the title of 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion.

“I’ve never been to Washington, D.C., so I want to take some time to visit the monuments and museums,” she said.

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